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Veterans Day: History and Legacy

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On November 11, the United States takes a moment to honor those who have fought for our country. However, Veterans Day originally did not honor veterans.

Welcome Home. December 1918
Welcome Home. December 1918

In 1919, at the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation commemorating November 11 as Armistice Day, a day when Americans could reflect on the victory with gratitude and solemn pride in the heroism of those who died during the Great War.

In 1926 Congress passed a resolution declaring that November 11 should be a legal holiday that commemorates peace, goodwill and mutual understanding between nations with prayer and thanksgiving. Twelve years later Congress passed a law making Armistice Day a legal holiday celebrating world peace. After the Korean War, Congress amended the law to honor veterans from all wars, and in 1975, November 11 officially became Veterans Day.

As we acknowledge the centennial of the start of World War I and prepare for the centennial of the United States’ entry into the war, explore these blog posts that provide links to resources that can be used to study World War I and the veterans of all wars.

How will you commemorate Veterans Day with your students? Let us know in the comments.

Comments (3)

  1. I believe there is a typo in the second paragraph.

    • Thanks for catching that. It’s been fixed.

  2. I think that we should try to help those that have no money due to being in the army.

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